april 22nd 2005 at 9pm

We are terrified by the inexorable passage of time, by the irrevocability of one's own age. Hence we have discarded mortuary rituals, confined death to the edges of our society and stopped adding candles on our birthday cakes.

There was a time though when we would remind ourselves of and reflect upon the transient quality of life by exhibiting in our homes vanitas paintings. The genre was quite popular as it depicted skulls, burning candles, hourglasses, flowers and other symbols of the brevity of life in various combinations.
Vanitas held a message of hope and redemption, and told of the vanity of art and even of the artist.
The image that will serve as a background for the happening is a detail of an etching by Cornelis Galle, c.1625. It uses three groups of symbols: "the symbols of earthly existence, of the mortal nature of human life, and of the resurrection of the eternal life". The legend "EXITUS ACTA PROBAT" (the result demonstrates the value of deeds) is taken from the second poem of Ovid's Heroides.

Christina Katsari is inviting you to celebrate her birthday and to deal once and for good with images from time past. She will take all the elements of a birthday party and reverse them. Within the time lap of the happening nothing will be left.